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Data Code Analysis Tools

These days there is something of a dizzying array of code analysis tools available to those who need to have something to use to look at information. A guide is certainly needed to understand the vast variety of things that are offered to those who are trying to pick just one. For those that are just starting out it might be easier to find one and stick with it as opposed to attempting to installing and configuring numerous different ones.

statistical data analysis schema

A List of Code Analysis Tools Available

There are several different classes of code analysis tools available. It’s best to have them sorted into different categories for analysis:

  • Historical: Lint is the original static coding analysis toolkit from the C language. It’s really only useful for those who have legacy code that needs it for support.
  • Multiple Language Features: The PMD Copy/Paste Detector finds duplicate code in Java, JSP, C++, standard C and PHP code. Sonar works as an overall inspection engine in Java, Flex, PHP, PL/SQL, Visual Basic and Cobol.
  • .NET Class: Programs like StyleCop, Gendarme and FxCop work with C#, VB.NET and .NET framework compatible languages. FxCop and StyleCop are distributed free by the Microsoft organization.
  • ActionScript: Language manipulation and optimization framework comes packaged together in the Apparat package.
  • C: There are numerous tools that work with the C langauge. Clang is actually a compiler, but includes a static analyzer. It also supports Objective-C. Frama-C and Splint are analysis framework systems that might be good choices, and the BLAST program is great for programmers. Those who need to support C++ as well should use the cppcheck error inspection system.
  • Java: Checkstyle has static code analysis and it can show violations. FindBugs is a byte code analyzer for Java that’s based on Jakarta BCEL. Those who want something more should have a look at the Squale platform, which helps to manage software quality on a variety of levels.
  • JavaScript: Closure Compiler rewrites JavaScript code in a way that makes it faster as well as more compact. It also takes a look at the usage of native JavaScript functions. Those who liked the old Lint tool should definitely have a look at JSLint, which works as a syntax checker and validator.

The Formal Methods Approach

code analysis tools

For some people none of these coding analysis toolkit options will be right. There are a few statistical data analysis tools that work through using static program assertions. ESC/Java is based on the Java Modeling Langauge, and has a second version out now. Abstract interpretation is provided by the Polyspace system, which supports C and C++. Interestingly, it’s one of the few tools, along with SofCheck Inspector and the SPARK Examiner, which include support for the older but unique Ada language. Users of this language might not have any other choices.

Learn more about code analysis tools!